I was umming and aahhing for a long time about whether or not I’ll do this tour. Reviews I read warned me that there is a lot of driving, and that you only get 30mins or so at each site.
Let me tell you something quite controversial… That is more than enough time! The purpose of this tour is to give people who are a little less on time, the opportunity to see a number of sights that are far away in 1 day!
Yes be prepared for long drives.. But use that time to nap, write your blog, speak to other travellers or read a book! Im so glad i did this tour- i recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind sitting in a car for 8 hours!
Yes- 8 hours of driving in one day! But its totally worth it.
Once I was picked up from my hostel Lantern Backpackers we went and picked up some others… And started to make our journey to the golden triangle.
Stop 1: Hot Springs
The hot springs are in fact very hot!! I couldn’t even dip my feet in the little pools they had for tourists! I napped most of the way- but i think it took about 90minutes to get here.
Once i tried to dip my feet in, and watched others do the same. I went and found a lovely lady who made me a chocolate banana pancake. I also got some freshly cut pineapple… It was a lovely breakfast and much needed as the night before I had gone to Zoe’s Yellow Bar!
Back into the van feeling a little bit more human….
Stop 2: White Temple
Ive dedicated an entire post to this- so please do go read in more detail.
I thought 30 mins wouldn’t be enough time, but I saw the temple, took some nice photos and even had time to nip off to the currency exchange! (The rates were the best here than anywhere else Id seen in Thailand!)
My advice- visit the toilet here!! The cleanest you will see all day!
Stop 3: Hill Tribe
We were supposed to go to the Golden Triangle next but apparently it was extremely busy and so they asked if we don’t mindseeing the Hill Tribe first. I think we all appreciated the honesty and flexibility!
Ive dedicated a post to the Karen Long Neck tribe and Hill Tribe. Please do have a look, these women really deserve our support. They are such beautiful people, with young children and work hard despite being told they are basically refugees.
I have heard you can visit the tribes in Chiang Mai as well- but this place is a lot better.
Stop 4: Lunch
A buffet lunch is included in your ticket- and they even have a vegetarian table. To be honest the veggie curry looked disgusting (no offence) so I had some bread rolls, and some mini thai sweetcorn and chive pancakes. The pad thai wasn’t bad either.
You can have water, and purchase beers and soft drinks.
The toilets are not as clean as the White Temple- but i promise that they are better than anything else you will experience for the rest of the day!
Stop 5:Golden Triangle
This is the point at which you can see the 3 countries… Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. In the middle of the 3 lies ‘No Mans Island’ which effectively belongs to no one. So its here that gangsters may go to trade opium etc- because there are no laws! The island is pretty small!
From here you can take a long tail boat ride… The tour guides are very informative and their English is great. Its illegal to gamble in Thailand so Myanmar and Laos have conveniently got casinos very close to their borders.
The boat ride takes about 10mins and you arrive in Laos – and need to give your passport and some money in order to get a landing visa so that you are allowed to enter the country!
I cant believe it- im actually in another country!
You are then given some time to try the whiskys and walk around the market.
There is whisky infused with scorpion, snakes (cobra), tigers penis (apparently helps men with their mojo), and an array ofequally disgusting ingredients. Loads of people were buying and trying the whisky… Im too squeamish for this stuff so after watching in horror I walked over to the ‘Michael Kors boutique’.
Fake handbags, suitcases, wallets etc are all on offer here. Some look extremely fake and some are actually of a very high quality!! Either one- they are fake!! So for once, I wasn’t tempted to buy.
I carried on walking and sadly found an elephant chained up- with tourists touching him and laughing. I wish that this would stop, it saddens me that such beautiful countries in Asia don’t always know the cruelty they put on animals.
Only stepping foot in Laos you can see the poverty here. There were many child beggars… And when i paid to visit the toilet the site that greeted me was horrifying! I ran out of there quick!
Back on the boat… And back to Thailand we go.
Stop 6: Opium Museum
We asked if we could go to this museum and our guide said we could if we skip the market. No One objected and so we spent 30 minutes or so here. It was an interesting museum and explained more about the infamous opium trade that made the Golden Triangle so famous!
You know its called the golden triangle because they would trade gold for opium!
Stop 7: Mae Rim
From here we went to Mae Rim the most Northern point of Thailand. Here we saw Monks taking selfies at the temple, and a colourful vista of houses in front of us.
From here you can see the river that divides Thailand and Myanmar.
Here we stopped for some coconut ice cream… And started our long 3 hour journey back home!
It was a great tour, our guide Mr T was awesome and whilst we covered a huge distance in a short space of time- we saw loads!!!